Oops, that’s not my car

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

‘‘I rang the po­lice and told them I thought some lady had ac­ci­den­tally stolen my car.’’

When Alex Hinch­liffe found his car miss­ing, he thought his mates had stitched him up again.

The Porirua man had parked out­side his friend’s food truck in Pare­mata, to get din­ner on the way to rugby train­ing.

Burger in hand, he headed back to his car at Browns Bay and found an empty space where he had left it.

‘‘I ac­tu­ally thought one of the boys had nicked it to teach me a les­son, be­cause I’m al­ways leav­ing my keys in it.’’

It was when he no­ticed an­other car, just like his dark blue 2010 Hyundai i45 elite, a cou­ple of spa­ces away, that he be­gan to get sus­pi­cious.

‘‘I asked a guy sit­ting in his car if he saw some­one nick mine, and he said a lady had just got in and driven away.’’

Hinch­liffe, 22, rang po­lice and gave them the li­cence num­ber of the car that was left in the car park.

‘‘I told them I thought some lady had ac­ci­den­tally stolen my car.

‘‘They had a bloody good laugh and said it was the fun­ni­est thing that had hap­pened all day.’’

By this time, the woman driv­ing a car that wasn’t hers had made it all the way home to Up­per Hutt, stop­ping to re­fuel on the way.

‘‘It wasn’t un­til the cops called her at her house and asked if she’d re­alised she was driv­ing some­one else’s car that she twigged.

‘‘She also only put $30 [of petrol] in it, which was a bit rude. She should have filled it up. The light was on.’’

He was happy to ex­cuse the car-nap­per for her mis­take, de­spite the fact his rugby gear was on the back seat and his be­long­ings in the front.

‘‘Ap­par­ently her kids some­times drive her car, so maybe she just thought they’d changed the ra­dio sta­tion and pushed the seat all the way back.’’

The car was a push-but­ton start and he al­ways left the keys in the cen­tre con­sole, so all she would have had to do was press the but­ton, he said.

All in all, it took only an hour for his car to be driven back to him.

‘‘Ev­ery­one had a bit of a laugh’’, he said.

‘‘What Kiwi hasn’t taken a car that doesn’t be­long to them?’’

Asked if he would con­tinue to leave his keys in the car, he was adamant.

‘‘Yup, and know­ing me it will prob­a­bly hap­pen again.

‘‘This stuff just kind of does.’’

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